Another stellar visit to the beach this morn. Again I was the only one around. While on the beach I was just thinking about the Fatbike craze. Its really amazing on how its taken off. This can only be compared to the birth of the MTB back in the early 80's (or sooner).
Its all started with the Surleys Pugsly, which is still most likely the most popular model to date.
Now a ton of custom manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon. And those are some beautiful bikes. But since they are made one by one are just so pricey.
So really it was Surly and Salsa that led the charge with their mass produced (not in USA) frames. Prices were in line. Builds used mid level components. But for a utility bike seems fine. Basic builds. Low cost.
Because really these are a utility bike. Its a bike most don't ride a whole lot. Its usually the second or even third bike in a riders stable. In the past, when you got one of these bikes everybody stares at it. I had my Moonlander in the store's window and took it out cuz it was taking too much time for my employees to answer the same questions over and over about it. Like.."wheres the motor" or "whats that thing for"? And most of the time you rode it alone cuz really, none of your friends had one. And that's changing too.
I owned a Pug. And loved it. We do a lot of beach riding here in the winter and now I did in the summer too. But always alone. I did not ride it a lot. Maybe 3 times a month.
Then I got a Moonlander. If 3.8 tires were fun then 4.8 should be funner?
It was not. And that leads me into the future of fatbikes.
With the Moonlander I think the tire got too fat. Its quite a bit more cumbersome in the woods than the Pug. Sure, you had a bigger footprint than the Pug and the flotation was a little better but not that much better. Just a little.
So.... now the fatbike way of thinking is going backwards. Tires and wheels widths are getting back in line. The 100mm Clown Shoe is out. The 65mm Marge is (back) in. Here's why..
The footprint you lose is minimal, the weight you save is huge. The industry is recognizing that keeping those wheel sizes down, but still be a fatbike will make this format more use able. When your buddy's call out a MTB ride no one shows up with a fatbike. Soon, that will change. I hear some rims are trimming down to 45mm. Claiming a 3.7 tire is cut to around 3.2. Still a fatbike. Still ridable on the beach. But now you can rip it up a little more.
Right now, those wheels are from custom builders and way pricey.
So the theory is take the "utility" out of the fatbike but still keep it a fatbike.
The rumor mill has the big three (Trek,Giant and Specialized) coming out with a 3 inch tire bike soon. Again, confirming the theory that a fatbike on a diet will sell.
Now, enter 9zero7. Now the third mass produced fatbike to date. Prices are way less than a custom build bike. But still many color and size options. I just ordered 5 frames for the store and cant wait to build them up. Im using Marge lite rims. Either Nard's or Husker Du's for tires and 9zero7 hubs and as much carbon components as I can (stem, bar and post) and hope to have the bike under 30 pounds. We'll see.
|Marge lites waiting for call to action.|
While I love riding the beach a ton, I cant wait to take the bike on some normal MTB trails and treat it just like any other MTB. Take it off some sweet jumps and get like, three feet of air. Because the test of a popular fatbike build is not on fatbike terrain. Its everywhere else.
And everywhere else is where I plan on riding it a lot.
Bring it on.